Tuesday, 18 September 2007

Lest we forget

Sometimes it is easy to forget that there are people behind the stories.

I'm going to take SCO as a good example. It is all too easy to vilify the people involved based on the media reports. We'll take Darl McBride as a prime example of this.

I'm not going to claim that he's an angel. Far from it. Is he misguided? Sure. Stubborn? Definitely. The living embodiment of all evil and the father of lies? Probably not.

Regardless of what he has said over the years as the mouthpiece of SCO, there is a real person there. What has brought this to mind is a Groklaw article written about the first day bankruptcy hearing. Seven Groklawyers were in attendance, and after the mornings hearing managed to speak with Novell's lawyers, and then snatched a few words with Darl himself:

"After the hearing I introduced myself to Darl McBride. I told him I was one of those Groklaw people. He smiled and told me he admired our passion. There is a time and place to ask a CEO questions and a courthouse hallway is not the place to ask tough questions. I asked Mr. McBride how he was holding up through this ordeal. He told me that he knew it would be tough. He said that what he had not expected was the toll it has taken on his family. When he said that I was looking him in the eye and there was a brief sadness in his eyes and a quiet voice that surprised me. I wished him and his family well. As a human being, he seemed to be a nice guy. If only he had chosen a different path ....."

I'm certain that over the coming weeks, if not months, there will be things said that will really rile us about this whole sordid affair, but it is worth taking pause that there are real people (some of whom are likely to loose their livelihoods) behind these headlines.

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